June 10, 2018
Before sitting down to type this I went on a bike ride to Špica, enjoying the streets with the beautiful folk in their summer clothes and sandals, while others cruised by in sports cars, sharing their musical tastes with the world. It was a nice morning, rounded off with a coffee beside some English holidaymakers working on their hangovers with some Union/Laško, sunbathing and occasional dips in the river (ill-advised, as cold and not strictly allowed, but they seemed to enjoy it). So if the Old Town is starting to bore you, why not keep walking upriver and see some of the other charms the city has to offer. It’s lovely this time of year.
But if you want something more structured then this week there’s really too much on offer, with the festival season only getting bigger each day.
The June in Ljubljana Festival continues until the 21st, featuring, among shows this week, the musical Rent on Tuesday, 21:00, and then next night, same time, dancing Cossacks. All performances are in Congress Square / Kongresni trg, and there’s something at most times of the day. Learn more here.
The Festival Urban Kulture Slovenia, or FUKSi, is running Friday and Saturday, June 15 and 16, in Tobačna. Friday the headline line act is Umek playing techno, while Saturday it's Morcheeba. Details here.
For those who enjoy good food and wine, there’s the Ljubljana Wine Route taking place in the city centre, near the Three Bridges, Saturday 11:00 to 21:00.
There’s also the start of Pride Festival, marked on Friday, June 15, with all the details here, and the focal event this week being the Peaches concert that same night, at Kino Siška, followed by an after party at Klubs Monokol and Tiffany. The actual parade isn’t until next week. You can see Miss Piggy lip-syncing to Peaches’ biggest hit in the video that follows, with the shocking performance that got her fired from Disney.
Some of the other events on around town are presented below. As ever, clicking on the venue name will get you more details with regard to the time, price and location, as well as other events on this week, and if you want to get a Ljubljana Tourist Card, which gives you travel on the city buses and entry to a lot of attractions, then you can read more about that here, and if you want to use the bike share system, as useful for visitors as it is for residents, then you can learn more by clicking this (with station #22 at Špica).
You can read about all the cinemas in town here, while a selection of what’s playing this week is below, and note that kid’s movies tend to be shown in dubbed versions, so do check before driving out to a multiplex and dropping off the young ones. (And if you like watching trailers with Slovene subtitles, then catch up on some from earlier this year here.)
Kinodvor – The arts cinema not far from the train station, but still rather tucked away, especially with the current street repairs, is showing, among other features, the comedy The Death of Stalin, the Spanish Una mujer fantástica, which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, The Death of Congo, Super Modo, and Hobbyhorse Revolution.
Kinoteka – The revival house is showing various classics, including the Coen brothers’ A Serious Man and Aki Kaurismäki’s La Vie de Bohème.
Kolosej – The multiplex out at BTC City Mall is playing all the big movies, which this week include Avengers: Infinity War, Deadpool 2, I Feel Pretty, Overboard, A Quiet Place, Blockers, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Book Club, and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Starting on Wednesday there’s Ocean’s 8. There’s also The Incredibles 2, but note that it’s dubbed.
Komuna – The cinema in a basement behind Nama department store is showing Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and Book Club.
Channel Zero – Monday night is Dub Lab night, and this week it’s LjubljanJah Vibes.
Klub Cirkus – The more commercial end of clubland has house music all night long on Friday, with HouseKeeping Season Finale: Buchan, Adonov x Urban Pfeifer, and on Saturday you can hit the dancefloor on a night called New AGE / Episode 5, about which we know nothing.
Klub K4 – K4 offers drum’n’bass on Friday, with K4DNB w/ ABIS (ex June Miller - NL), while Saturday is Pride related event, K4 Roza: Love & Pride, playing dance, house and techno, with, among others, DJ Duki.
Klub Gromka – Friday night there’s Back to the 90's: Eurodance.
Orto Bar – Saturday night there’s a Psychobilly Madness After Party.
Please note that public galleries and museums are closed on Mondays.
Svetlobna gverila (Lighting Guerrilla) can be found lighting up and prettifying various locations downtown when the sun finally goes down, with key areas being around Križanke, Sosteka in Novi trg and Palača Cukrarna, with the latter being inside and so possible to enjoy in the daylight hours. Details here, and the whole thing lasts until June 16.
Galerija Vžigalica – The light show continues in this gallery space, which has some really nice stuff to enjoy, and is more or less opposite Križanke, in the beautiful French Revolution Square (about which, more here).
Svetlobna gverila in Novi trg. Photo: Paloma Lavor
The Balassi Institute (The Cultural Centre of the Embassy of Hungary) – This is at Barvarska steza 8, Ljubljana, not far from Dragon Bridge, and hosts various events. Until August 6 it’s also showing photos by Ora Hasenfratz.
Marc Riboud. Huangshan, 1985. On the right, the pine named Flower-Formed-on-the-tip-of-a-Dream-Paintbrush. On the left, the Sublime Peak. ©Marc Riboud – all rights reserved.
Cankerjev dom – On until June 24 is a show with photographs of Ljubljana by Igor Andjelić, telling “a story about the artist’s embeddedness in Ljubljana’s urban existence, his intense engagement in the city’s artistic circles and street life.”
International Centre of Graphic Arts – Running until July 29 is David Lynch: Fire on Stage, presenting seventy lithographs from the director who’s made a fine career in movies on and on TV, with classics such as Eraserhead, Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks, but who started off as a painter and never left that world behind.
City Museum – In addition to the large permanent exhibition on the history of Ljubljana, the museum is offering guided tours of its collection every Sunday, 16:30, until the end of August, with the price included in the regular entrance fee. Details here.
Ljubljana Castle – Giampaolo Sgura, the fashion photographer, has an exhibition here until August 25, with images like the one below.
MAO – The Museum of Architecture and Design is showcasing Slovenian designers in a show called Made in Slovenia, lasting until the end of 2018: “The selling exhibition aims to present good practices of Slovenian designers and companies in the creative sector.” The same venue has an exhibition based on Slovenia’s Pavilion at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, called “Living with Water”, and on until November 25.
Moderna galerija – The main branch of this gallery, to be found near the entrance to Tivoli Park, has a good collection of modern art, as well a nice café in the basement. For even more contemporary work you can take a trip to the Metelkova branch, which until June 24 has a retrospective on the work of Milenko Matanovič, as noted here.
Museum of Contemporary History – Renovation work means that the permanent Exhibition “Slovenians in the 20th Century” will temporarily lack the period from 1945-1990, but there are still interesting things to see about the recent past in this museum, set in Tivoli Park.
Mestna Galerija – A show called Tomislav Gotovac: Don't Ask Where We're Going is on until June 17.
National Gallery – The country’s main gallery has “the best” of what’s on offer in non-contemporary of modern visual arts, and is in a great location for exploring other areas, just by Tivoli Park and opposite the main branch of the Moderna galerija.
National Museum of Slovenia – There’s a lull in the temporary shows, but still plenty to see in the permanent collection, from Roman times, Egypt and more.
Slovene Ethnographic Museum – There’s a number of permanent exhibitions here, and it’s conveniently located near the newer branch of the Moderna galerija and Metelkova.
FAMILIES & KIDS
Something from the Museum of Illusions
If you want to learn more about Ljubljana Pride, then take a look at our interview with its president here, while the group’s events page, often updated after this guide is compiled, is here. The programme foe the festival itself is here, while both clubs below, and next to each other in Metelkova, are hosting a Peaches afterparty on Friday.
Klub Monokel – A predominantly lesbian club.
Klub Tiffany – A predominantly gay club.
Klub Gromka – Saturday night Thrashin' with Chainbreaker and Septic Order, the former playing speed/thrash metal, and the latter thrash/groove metal.
Kino Šiška – As we may have mentioned once or twice this week, Peaches is playing here Friday night. Expect something to remember.
OPERA, THEATRE, DANCE
Gledališče IGLU - IGLU Theatre – Saturday night this group is usually putting on an English improv show somewhere in town, but it’s generally promoted after this is written, so check the Facebook before putting on your shoes.
Pocket Teater Studio – After last week’s sell out performance there’s another chance to see Carlos Pascual in a night of music and stories (a man who seems to be succeeding in the mission outlined here). “The seats are limited, therefore it is obligatory to make a reservation: with a message in the Facebook inbox, or via the phone numbers 040 414 939 and 070 325 522. The price of a ticket is 20 euros, and includes a glass of wine.
SNG Opera and Ballet – Prokofiev’s take on Romeo & Juliet is on stage Thursday, Friday and Saturday. It’s the one with this.
Every Friday through the warmer months there’s the Open Kitchen in Ljubljana Market, where you can try food and drink from some the biggest names in town, and you can read more about it here.
Breg Embankment, just opposite the Old Town and by the river, has a small flea market open every Sunday morning. Learn more about it here.
If you’re in town and want to go jogging or walking in nature, why not take another look at the Castle, with a brief guide to the trails here. If you want something bigger, head to Tivoli Park.
Want to eat like a Slovene star of cinema and TV? Then check out our review of Ljubljana Well Done, by Marko Miladinović (yep, there’s a Bourdain reference, but published before last week’s tragic news. Be sure to raise a glass to the man sometime in the next seven days and be kind to yourself and those around you).
And if you want to learn 25 odd facts and features about Ljubljana, check out this popular article.
Think you know downtown well? See how many of these details you can locate.
Photo: JL Flanner